Targets and effects of anti-Western propaganda in Georgia

25 March 2024. Tamar Kintsurashvili, Executive Director of the Media Development Foundation in Tbilisi and a participant in the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium 2023 (photo), has published a new report on anti-Western propaganda in Georgia.
The report, which covers the period from January to December 2022 and is based on the analysis of up to 10,000 comments, shows that the majority of propaganda messages were directed against the collective West and the US, followed by the EU and NATO. Other targets included Ukraine, democratic institutions such as NGOs, the ombudsman and the media, and liberal ideas in general. “Russia was the only subject that was presented positively in the given discourse,” the report said.
Thematically, the anti-Western messages were divided into five main streams: 1. foreign policy and security (42.2%); 2. democracy, sovereignty and democratic institutions (21.7%); 3. Russian intervention in Ukraine (20.5%); 4. identity and liberalism (11.9%); and 5. foreign aid and economy (3.6%).
In terms of foreign and security policy issues, the main target was the EU, which, as the report explains, was due to the EU integration process and, in particular, the issue of Georgia’s candidacy.
The report stresses that the most sensitive propaganda message was that the West was trying to “drag Georgia into the war” and “open a second front” in the country. This was related to the instrumentalisation of fears of war, which were particularly pronounced in the context of Russia’s war in Ukraine and became main tool of political manipulation in the context of Georgia’s EU candidacy.
The full report is available here.